Sunday, May 17, 2015

Ayrshire beat Dunbartonshire in final of 

GolfKings Scottish area team ch/ship final 
      WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS! Ayrshire's happy squad with the trophy at Blairgowrie.
                                    Picture by courtesy of Kenny Smith

Ayrshire, spearheaded by Jack McDonald, have won the GolfKings Scottish men's area team championship.
They beat the No 1 match-play qualifiers Dunbartonshire 5.5-3.5 in the final today over the Lansdowne course at Blairgowrie Golf Club.
It is Ayrshire's third win in the tournament, following their successes of 1986 and 2008. 
McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie) teamed up with Scott Brown (Turnberry) to beat Steven Stewart (Clydebank Overtoun) and James Wilson by 5 and 4 in the morning foursomes after Ewen Ferguson (Bearsden) and Angus Carrick (Douglas Park) had given Dunbartonshire a 1-0 lead by winning 3 and 2 against Keith Hamilton (Ayr Belleisle) and Tommy McInally (Loudoun Gowf) in the first foursome.
Stuart Robin (Prestwick St Cuthbert) and John Shanks (Irvine) sent Ayrshire in for lunch with a 2-1 lead by winning the third foursome, 4 and 3 against Chris MacLean (Balmore) and George Duncan (Windyhill). 
McDonald, with the aid of four birdies, then struck a vital blow for Ayrshire by winning the top singles, 3 and 2 against Dunbartonshire's star man, former British boys champion Ewen Ferguson (Bearsden).
That extended Ayrshire's lead to 3-1 which stretched to 4-1 when Robin beat Carrick 2-1 in the second singles tie.
Dunbartonshire kept their hopes alive with middle-order sings by MacLean (one hole up over McInally) and Stewart (2 and 1 against Hamilton) 
But when Ayrshire's Brown halved with Duncan that gave them an unassailable lead in the 9pt match and Shanks completed the notable victory by beating Wilson 4 and 3, ending Dumbartonshire’s hopes of a first win in the event since 1980. 
 In what was a great team performance by Ayrshire, all six players contributed to at least 1 1/2 from a possible four points towards the Ayrshire wins in the three match-play rounds en route to victory, with Jack McDonald taking four points from four and recording notable wins over Brtish amateur champion Bradley Neil, on his home course, in the quarter-finals as well as a semi-final win against fellow international Matt Clark and a final win over the in -orm Ewen Ferguson.
At the conclusion of the final, both teams received medals and Ayrshire captain John Rushbury accepted the Area team championship trophy on behalf of the county team.

University of Stirling Applied Maths graduate McDonald, who reached the quarter-finals of the Scottish Amateur at Blairgowrie in 2013, said: “I had played well coming in here, after good finishes at Royal Lytham and in Ireland, and played well again this week. I’ve just been solid, and the course tends to suit me.

“I had a fair idea myself and Ewen would end up playing each other and it was a good match. It’s nice to win as part of a team, especially as I don’t get to see these guys a lot. It’s been great to play with them and have a good week.”

On his Walker Cup goal, the 22-year-old added: “I’ll just keep plugging away, try my best and see how it all pans out. Hopefully my game keeps improving during the season. We had a dinner get-together down at Lytham, briefly talking about the event, so we’ll see what happens.”



Dunbartonshire names first

Ewen Ferguson (Bearsden) and Angus Carrick (Douglas Park) bt Keith Hamilton (Ayr Belleisle) and Tommy McInally (Loudoun Gowf) 3 and 2.
Steven Stewart (Clydebank Overtoun) and James Wilson (Balmore) lost to Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie) and Scott Brown (Turnberry) 5 and 4.
Chris MacLean (Balmore) and George Duncan (Westhill) lost to Stuart Robin (Prestwick St Cuthbert) and John Shanks (Irvine) 4 and 3.

SINGLES (2.5-3.5)
Ferguson lost to McDonald 3 and 2.
Carrick lost to Robin 2 and 1.
MacLean bt McInally 1 hole.
Stewart bt Hamilton 2 and 1.
Duncan halved with Brown
Wilson lost to Shanks 4 and 3.



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